It seems like the world has gotten pretty crazy over the last few weeks. I have a full time job and 4 kids so my life was already very busy causing me to often fall behind on projects and not get videos published as often as I would like. With the world thrown into the mayhem of Corvid-19 it has caused life to become even more of a roller coaster than I could imagine. Schools are closed so all the kids are home and we are getting daily assignments and goals from teachers. I am happy that we are still healthy and that I have work that can pay the bills even with the interruption of 2nd grade math lessons and kindergartner reading assignments.
There is also a new constant sound in the house. That sound is the hum of my humble 3D printer running almost 24/7 printing plastic visors for medical face shields. I would have never thought in a million years that my urge to make things would involve making temporary personal protection equipment for medical use. When my wonderful wife isn’t home trying to facilitate the work that teachers are sending daily or doing loads of laundry she is a NICU nurse at one of the major hospitals in town. Like most hospitals in the country there is not enough personal protective equipment to last and so they have begun rationing the equipment. As I have been watching this slowly unfold I was tagged in the comment of a Facebook group call Iowa Corvid Rapid Response Network. I read through the posts and part of me still thought that it seemed unlikely that healthcare providers would be allowed to use these unofficial face shields that just started getting made a few days before. Then I scrolled by a photo of a delivery of these exact face shields to the clinic where my sister-in-law is a nurse and it got a lot more real for me. My Monoprice Maker Ultimate was quickly fired up and it has been humming along ever since, producing over 30 visor pieces for face shields over the last few days that I then drop off in a tote at a volunteer’s house. Another volunteer picks them up and drops them off to be washed and assembled. Finally they are delivered to one of many healthcare providers all over the state.
I am truly amazed how the community has come together to support our state during this worldwide event and how these hidden away skills of the maker community have come to play a huge part of filling the shortage until the regular manufacturers can ramp up their production and get it distributed. My wife’s team now has 13 of these same masks on the way to use along with many other medical professionals.
I hope to get another video out soon, but at the moment it feels like I am working on the most important MAKE that I can be.